THE BARK August 2017 - Issue 6

Dear Candlebark community,

For your enjoyment, this August newsletter contains many of the interesting activities the children were involved in for Arts Week. We have included lots and lots of photos of all the fun had and amazing art produced by these wonderful kids.

Jane Cahill - Editor In Chief

morning meeting - 21 august

The morning meeting on August 21 began with a guitar solo by Ewan Buchholtz, followed by a keyboard performance by Ilario Sellito, and was then brought to a thrilling climax by Piper Carter's violin rendition of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik. It was a joy to start the week with music of this standard, played by such accomplished young performers.

Kate Tucker then talked about the Year 8 cross-country skiing camp last week, in which the group faced extremely challenging conditions, with wild weather, powerful winds, snow and rain. Tents were nearly buried by snow on occasions. But the group, who had virtually no experience of cross-country skiing, showed indomitable spirit and resilience. They were so keen that in the late afternoons they skied with torches strapped to their heads, until the sun had finally set.

Next, Wendy Wright announced that the two teams we had entered for the Tournament of Minds competition at Latrobe University on Saturday had both won their divisions. There are eight divisions, and the other six were won by the Girton Grammar powerhouse, a school with over 1200 students, who won the national title in 2015. The only two they lost on Saturday were to Candlebark. It's many years since we last entered, so it was quite a triumph for our young teams to do so well. They brought spirit, energy, creativity and teamwork to their performances.

As you will see in this newsletter, the Arts Week was a terrific success, and the chess teams continue to compete superbly and successfully. On Wednesday, April 23, our athletes, who have been training for some weeks now, go to Bendigo for the interschool competition.

Yet in the midst of all this, the students continue to get through their classwork with good application and diligence. I don't normally bother to look at the Naplans results, but I did scan through them this year. Students are divided into eight bands, according to their achievements, in five different subject areas. I was pleased to see that our Grade 5 students for example had improved by an average of two bands compared to their results in Grade 3. In other words, if they had been, for example, at the top of Band 4 in 2015 in numeracy, they could now expect to be at the top of Band 6. This would represent an increase in their scaled score from about 426 to about 530 over two years, where the scale ranges from 322 to 582+. Given that we don't coach students for Naplans, and indeed do our best to ignore them, it was nice to see that our kids can achieve at such high levels.

The above illustrates the calibre of the Candlebark staff. This good-humoured, creative, adventurous bunch of people are so committed, dedicated and hard-working that we can achieve remarkable standards across many fronts – to the great benefit of the children attending the school.

John Marsden


  • Term Dates
  • Arts Weeks
  • Visiting Artists
  • Chess Report - Darebin
  • Bush Dance - Saturday 23 September
  • In The News
  • Backpack Challenge
  • The Vox Bendigo Book 2017 - Young Writers Anthology
  • Basil Eliades Book Launch - Thursday 24 August
  • Community Notices

Term Dates

  • Term 3 - 24 July to 28 September
  • Term 4 - 16 October 16 to 13 December 13 (Candlebark) 14 December (Alice Miller)

Arts Week

bush carpentry
Strange gardens
Myths & legends
Photo Credit - Candlebark kids
turning the white building coloured
the faraway tree

Visiting Artists

Desmond & Agathe Lazaro

Last term, Candlebark and Alice Miller students had the opportunity to learn Indian painting techniques with British born artist, Desmond Lazaro. He visited both schools with his wife Agathe and children Emile, Felix and Basile. For one week Emile, Felix and Basile joined in our classes and Desmond taught master classes in traditional painting. Desmond was born into an anglo-indian family, he attended art school in the U.K, and then studied in India for more than a decade. He is now based in Pondicherry and his passion for painting, both traditional and contemporary is extraordinary. Desmond's stories transformed us into "Indian time". For example, what we set out to do within a two-hour lesson and soon expanded into a full day's workshop. He showed us a temple painting that he had worked on with other artists. It showed a detailed garden with people dancing. It took four artists eighteen months to complete. Our students learnt about the origins of colour and how to make real paint from plants, oxides and minerals. They ground such substances on glass and listened for the sound of the granules disappearing into silence and becoming paint. They also learnt to paint circles and spirals meditatively. And how to apply fine lines that looked like the veins on a banana leaf.

Joanne Croke

chess report - darebin

Welcome to Tim’s nightmare. It’s Monday, it’s a chess tournament, and Tornelo (the tournament software) is DOWN. Houston, we have a problem.

Luckily, it’s a smallish event, and Tim reckons he’ll be ok with this new software he’s just found online. But I can see the pain in his eyes.

We are a band of ten men, from Alice and Bark. Notionally calling ourselves Candilla, a cross between a Japanese monster and an infection.

First round, and our previous seven out of sevener has gone down to, “a good player,” whilst Lucas gets off to a quick bye. Due to the new software, there is a decent chance we will be playing against each other at some stage, something I particularly enjoy watching.

Great to see Kai back on the Chess train, and a couple of new chess faces for me: Angus and Michael. Michael has had to share a canoe with me for a considerable length of time, and it just shows the strength of his character that he still asked to come along today.

There are a couple of kids in blazers with more bling pinned on than a North Korean General.

Round 1, sponsored by Uncle Toby Muesli Bars: 80%

Round 2: the Clix and Sakata round: 60%

We are back at the Australian International School of Something in Darebin. Great coffee, very hospitable hosts, and lots of interesting Quran quotes around the place.

Our first clash of the Clan: Ilario versus Marlo. Good friends off the board, but a deep loathing, simmering hatred when pitched against each other in tournament chess. Marlo having a good laugh early on, masking his desire to smash the opponent. Ilario in with a quick fork, but Marlo may have dug his way out of it with a check. There’s a coach noting down each move for one of the players, something I refuse to do.

Hugo first back, his opponent blundering a rook and Hugo exchanging all off. Martin with a win too. Michael fighting hard for his first, self-aware enough to realise that he isn’t working out what his opponent is up to.

Angus with another solid win, loving his knight and jumping around his opponent’s pawns.

Marlo with a big grin letting me know he’s just lost. I need to shake that boy up. Ilario getting a win.

Lucas having a good tough game to start the day, using the clock well. He’s going to be one of the last to finish.

A lot of blazers milling around. Sam loses to the guy that beat Martin. A strange situation of being up by five points, but a little short of time, and so blundering until finally losing on time. Lucas unlucky to lose a really good game, and he’s looking to get a castle in on the next game.

Round 3: The fresh Apple round: 70%

I don’t want to sound like a proud one-eyed parent, but our kids really do sit up, shake hands and generally comport themselves with class. Even the new ones.

Marlo with a disappointing loss, which I’ve just given him a slight toasting over. Less smile, more mongrel: be hard to beat. Some of our kids forget to get nasty on the board. Martin very disappointed with his second loss. The step up from being grade 6, eldest in the tournament, to grade 7, youngest. They have to be consistently focussed.

Michael persevering to his first win of the day, a broad smile crossing his face. Angus with another matter of fact win: I’ve been impressed with him today.

Hugo with a tough, well fought victory, steam rolling our nemesis in the end. Ilario losing to an annoying taken-queen-waggling player. Lucas with another win, castling early. Dan with a great win from behind. I’m begging them to drink more water and eat more fruit. Some listen.

Round 4: Nacho Round

Mid tournament. Silence, broken only by the click of clocks and the mumbled musings of myopic members of the middle years. To be fair, there aren’t that many pairs of glasses in the rooms.

Hugo loses to an annoying short player. He’s unclear as to whether it’s the height which he dislikes, or the personality. Turns out it’s the style of a player who dares to pin, and exchange at every opportunity, and then has the temerity, the chutzpah, to then chase a clearly taller and older, and hence wiser player around the board with a queen and rook at speed. Until he wins. Lucas loses to the nemesis player, who apparently has the ability to predict his opponent’s moves, an stymie them before they even begin. Clearly he has lost his soul to Beelzebub in return for chess skills and a fidget spinner. I always enjoy seeing two bespectacled nerds giggling at each other over a chessboard over what was clearly just an off the cuff crazy move.

Lots of losses being reported, just as Martin also lumbers me with the news that we’re tied for top. Now I’ve an appetite to win it.

Another random pleasure of the board is watching a cocky kid in a blazer, with one earbud in (??!) casually promoting two pawns having already sloppily lost his queen, go on to give our fighting hero Kai a very hard fought draw. To see those shoulders slump in front of his fawning supporters….

Michael fights back from a queen down to get his next win: love it!

Dan fighting to the end, against quite a sizeable senior, and probably twenty spectators, works hard to win with sixteen seconds left. Excellent play.

Round 5: Sandwiches. Provided by the school, for the teachers.

Angus is unlucky to be back-ranked one move away from checkmating his opponent. Lesson: check the opponent’s next move, before you do your own.

The results have taken a dip, which isn’t related to the realisation that Fiona has forgotten to give me bread. Or was I meant to buy it…. Anyway. Michael plods onto his third victory in a row. Lots of dross results, Dan initiates a long exchange which ends badly (like a knight) down. Annoying when you focus to win, only to lose focus and give away the point. A mixed round of nonchalant wins, and listless losses.

I’ve demanded water to be drunk, and exercise to be taken.

Last two rounds.

I’ve tried the extra chocolate if you win schtick as well.

Sam is to play Kai, in a battle of the three and a halves. Guaranteed point, as well as one lost. We have three on four points, which is solid, but we need more to win the whole competition.

Martin, a brutal victory, skewering and forking his way to the top. Kai and Ilario are disappointed. Dan and Angus, sloppy. I’m fuming. Five out of ten at this stage may well have cost us victory. They are sent for a jog, and told to drink water. We need eight I reckon in this last round.

Marlo is playing Kai. Ilario against Lucas. There’s campus competitions afoot. There are to be individual medals for the day, and teams will be worked out later. I’d forgotten there is a senior team here amongst the middle yearers.

One of the school’s mottos here is Pray and Persevere. Uplifting. The Moffat one is “I hope for better things.” Which is exactly how I felt when I first heard it, so I guess it must be right.

Michael foils a trickster trying to four move him. Kai beats Marlo. Alice appears to beat Candle.

Hugo with an outstanding 6 out of 7, goes to the top table to cheer for a black win. Something about winning the whole tournament, if it goes his way.

I’ve had a word with Tim regarding the rise of earpieces in the arena. It’s ridiculous, and not allowed at senior level, so why here?

Sam, the only one losing to a non-Candillian player in the last round.

A very good day all in all. A couple of fresh faces, a nice meeting of the two campuses, and no bread for sandwiches. The bread is on me.

Hugo comes third overall, and we appear to have won the Middle Years section, which is nice. Well played everyone.

Andy Moffat

Bush Dance - Saturday 23 September

Year 9 students, Alice, Bryce, Charlie, Ella, Hannah, Harry, Issy, Jip, Liam, Lukas, Kieren, Max, Sophia, Taysia & William-John are organising the Bush Dance as a fundraiser for their big trip to Italy & Montenegro


🙂 Keep the date free and book tickets early for our Bush Dance on Saturday night, 23rd September, for family and friends (more info coming soon)

🙂 Please donate a significant item/ service for our Silent Auction. Past items have included collectibles, signed originals, art and craftwork, vouchers etc.

🙂 Please also donate anything we can take or put in a hamper as prizes.

These items or pledges for these can be left with either Wendy Wright at Candlebark, or Amy Naivasha at Alice Miller.

Kieren is managing the raffle and silent auction and can be contacted directly at

These contributions from the whole school community, and those from our own families, help us feel very well supported and encouraged.

🙂 Come along to the Bush Dance for a fun night.

Please click on the button below to book via Try Booking.

🙂 Participate in the So You Think You Can Interpretive Dance segment that night. You'll have fun and we'll laugh together.

🙂 Bring you wallets on the night for more of our catered supper - we are planning savoury, sweet, with veg and gluten free options, alcohol / soft drinks and freshly roasted and brewed coffee.

Thanks in anticipation, Year 9s

in the news

Springfield CFA stunned at theft, damage at station

Candlebark School students carry refugee hope on their shoulders

backpack challenge

Dear Candlebark Families and 40 Hour Backpack Challenge Supporters,

On Sunday morning, ten proud Grade 5 students walked back to Candlebark after successfully completed the 40 Hour Backpack Challenge!

Two weeks earlier, when initially presented with this challenge, these kids could have simply said 'no thanks'. Instead, they responded with an emphatic 'yes', and the momentum for this project grew rapidly from there. Their enthusiasm has remained infectious throughout and it has been a real joy to share this journey with them. Even in the wet, windy, and wild conditions over the weekend, these kids managed to maintain their high spirits and commitment to the cause. They can be very proud of what they have achieved.

With your generous support the group managed to raise over $3400! This was well above our initial target of $500, which we felt would be an outstanding effort, at the time. We could not be happier with the final result, and the funds we raised will now support the valuable work that World Vision do with refugees and displaced people in East Africa and the Middle East.

We would like to say an enormous thanks to everyone who encouraged us by donating money or sending messages of support. We were overwhelmed by the positive response we received from our families, our friends, and the Candlebark School community. We feel fortunate to be surrounded by such a fine bunch of people.

We look forward to participating in other adventurous challenges like this in the future!

Thanks again,

Sam and the 40 Hour Backpack Challenge Team - India, Lucas, Lena, Cal, Reuben, Charlie, Aidan, Harry, Jack and Dorian.

The vox bendigo book 2017 - young writers anthology

For the second year, Bendigo Writers Festival in association with Rotary Club of Bendigo has published The Vox Bendigo Book 2017 - Young Writers Anthology. They received 180 submissions and the judges had a very difficult deciding on the final pieces to publish, due to the high quality of entries but they managed to get it down to just 40 entries. Four Candlebark students, Sven, Tristan, Cosimo and Callahan had pieces published in this years book 'The Tree'. These students were invited to attended the launch of the book during the Bendigo Writers Festival and were presented with their very own copy.

Basil eliades' book launch

We are delighted to welcome you all to an evening of story telling, at the Alice Miller /Candlebark launch of Basil’s new book –

Speaking in Tongues

It is a collection of short stories from around the world, blessed by the great Philip Adams ‘I enjoyed this so much – this man writes beautifully’

You can come along at any time, for as long as you wish. Basil will begin readings at around 5pm.

John Marsden will give the book its official launch at 6.15 pm.

Cello backing to one of the stories by Skye Myers!

Thursday 24 August - 5pm till whenever - Alice Miller Meeting Room

The evening is also a fundraiser for the Year 9 trip – a percentage of books sold will be donated to the trip, and snacks and light supper to keep you going will be provided by the Year 9s.

We would love to see you and have your support for this special evening.

Community Notices

'in plan' - Melbourne festival

Following on from the inspiring work shared during artist week, Ben Cobham and Michelle Heaven have a show 'In Plan' being presented as part of the Melbourne Festival this coming October.

Tickets are selling fast so if you are interested please check it out on the Melbourne Festival brochure / website or follow this link.

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